Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Marc-Andre Parisien; Sean A. Parks; Meg A. Krawchuck; Mike D. Flannigan; Lynn M. Bowman; Max A. Moritz
    Date: 2011
    Source: Ecological Applications. 21(3): 789-805.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: View PDF  (2.09 MB)

    Description

    In the boreal forest of North America, as in any fire-prone biome, three environmental factors must coincide for a wildfire to occur: an ignition source, flammable vegetation, and weather that is conducive to fire. Despite recent advances, the relative importance of these factors remains the subject of some debate. The aim of this study was to develop models that identify the environmental controls on spatial patterns in area burned for the period 1980-2005 at several spatial scales in the Canadian boreal forest. Boosted regression tree models were built to relate high-resolution data for area burned to an array of explanatory variables describing ignitions, vegetation, and long-term patterns in fireconducive weather (i.e., fire climate) at four spatial scales (102 km2, 103 km2, 104 km2, and 105 km2). We evaluated the relative contributions of these controls on area burned, as well as their functional relationships, across spatial scales. We also assessed geographic patterns of the influence of wildfire controls. The results indicated that extreme temperature during the fire season was a top control at all spatial scales, followed closely by a wind-driven index of ease of fire spread. However, the contributions of some variables differed substantially among the spatial scales, as did their relationship to area burned. In fact, for some key variables the polarity of relationships was inverted from the finest to the broadest spatial scale. It was difficult to unequivocally attribute values of relative importance to the variables chosen to represent ignitions, vegetation, and climate, as the interdependence of these factors precluded clear partitioning. Furthermore, the influence of a variable on patterns of area burned often changed enormously across the biome, which supports the idea that fire-environment relationships in the boreal forest are complex and nonstationary.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Parisien, Marc-Andre; Parks, Sean A.; Krawchuck, Meg A.; Flannigan, Mike D.; Bowman, Lynn M.; Moritz, Max A. 2011. Scale-dependent controls on the area burned in the boreal forest of Canada, 1980-2005. Ecological Applications. 21(3): 789-805.

    Keywords

    area burned, boosted regression trees, Canadian boreal forest, climate, ignitions, regression modeling, spatial scale, topography, vegetation, wildfire

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/39239